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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

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a passage from their books and the others had to
guess who had written it. Someone read three
lines and no one could guess who had written it, I
had a sudden inspiration and said " Oscar Wilde/3
and, much to my astonishment, it proved to be
right. It was from the pamphlet on Socialism; I
had read it years before. That was naturally the
only quotation that I ever did guess. Roger Fry one
evening quoted a passage that no one could guess
and it turned out to be from Baedeker. It was a
wonderful week-end and I did not talk at all as
everyone else talked so brilliantly. There was only
one trouble, that a horrible bird arrived outside the
library, sat on a small tree, and whistled three notes.
This it did without ceasing. We went into the gar-
den and collected pebbles with which we pelted it.
This drove it away for a few minutes and then it
came back again. When I left on Monday morning
Roger was buying an air-rifle. I went back to
Fitzroy Street and started work seriously.
I painted some artificial flowers in a white vase
which Sickert bought. He still lived opposite and
asked me to breakfast. He said, " You had better
come every morning at nine, as I get up at six in
Camden Town, swim for an hour, think for a bit,
and have breakfast/* At nine I crossed the road
and had a large cup of coffee, two eggs, marmalade,
and a large cigar. Breakfast lasted until about ten-
thirty and then I was sent home to work. Some-
times I sat to him for a short time. Sickert was the
kindest and one of the most intelligent and charming
men I have ever met. He always seemed to know